Parenting is hard. It is really, really hard, and we are constantly worried if we are doing it right. There is so much information out there on parenting. Books, videos, unsolicited advice from neighbors (or strangers in a grocery store). All out mommy wars have broken out over how everyone *thinks* everyone else should be raising their children.
What if I told you, you could be a better parent (or at least feel like one) in 3 easy steps? No books to read, no foods to try, no routines to implement. That sounds great, right? Well here you go — here’s my advice on how to be a better parent in 3 easy steps.
How to be a Better Parent in 3 Easy Steps
Stop Reading Parenting Books
Here’s the thing, kids don’t fit into the pages of a book.
Each child learns differently, loves differently, will have different motivations, goals, and fears. And likewise, each parent is different. There is an infinite number of combinations that you can come up with between parent and child, so how is ONE book supposed to fit into every one?
If you are a new mom, okay, you may want to grab a book or check out some blogs on what you should be expecting. Or, if your child has been diagnosed with something specific, you will want familiarize yourself with it. But other than that, STOP. Just stop.
There are more parenting experts and books written than one can wrap their head around and most of them will be a waste of your time. If you live each day trying to parent according to so and so because they said so in their highly acclaimed book, then you will fail.
Children don’t fit into books so don’t get upset if you aren’t doing things exactly the way the book says to — it just doesn’t work for your child, and that is OK.
Stop Listening to Outsiders
They don’t know you, they don’t know your children, they don’t know your home life, socioeconomic status, education level, cultural background, etc. etc. So don’t listen to them.
You didn’t breastfeed your children until they were 3?! Gasp! *sarcasm* — So what? You’re not using cloth diapers?? Who cares! You Co-sleep?! You let your baby cry it out?! You don’t feed your family all organic, all the time?! and it can go on and on and on.
You see, if you start listening to what everyone is telling you to do, then you’re never going to be able to do what YOU want to do. It is your life, your family, raise your children the way YOU want to, not the way others are telling you to.
I promise, if you stop listening to all that craziness, you will be a better parent. You will be free to do what works in YOUR house. And trust me, what works in your house, is not going to be the same that works in Suzie’s down the street.
Love them unconditionally
Love them when they are little, and when they are big.
Love them when they are sleeping, and when they’ve woken you up for the third time that night.
Love them when they are having good days and bad days.
Love them when they are laughing and when thy are crying.
Love them when they break your favorite vase, or track mud across the kitchen floor. When they spill the carton of milk, or cut their sister’s hair.
Love them always, and you will be the best parent in the whole world!